“ For the outdoor enthusiasts enjoy the mini golf course, taking a dip in the lake or beach volleyball. Dont forget to bring along your marinating sauce for the outdoor grill! „
We found ourselves in the Mariestad area almost by accident and ended up staying for 4 nights. Mariestad is in the South West area of Sweden, heading towards the Gothenburg area.
We were in the middle of a 6 hour journey from central Sweden across to he West coast but the weather was turning into a storm and our car just didn't fell good. We therefore decided to stop and find somewhere to stay for the night. With the weather turning sour, we didn't fancy our tent as we would be putting it up in the rain which is never good & yet a hotel was out of our budget for this trip. Being in Sweden, there was obviously going to be a camp site somewhere close as Sweden is full of top class camp sites due to the Swedes love of the out door life.
We soon found what we were looking for & stumbled across Ekkudens camp site & decided that it was a good idea to stop here for the night to shelter from the weather & get the car into a garage the next morning.
*Our arrival & check in*
We approached the campsite and noticed that it was sat on Lake Vänern. If you did not know the geography of Sweden, you could well believe by viewing over this lake that it could indeed be the sea as the lake is so vast. It is indeed the largest lake in Sweden and the 3rd largest In Europe. The view despite the storms was beautiful.
When approaching the reception area, we were immediately welcomed by very friendly reception staff who confirmed that they had cabins available and that were priced at 450 Swedish kroner per night. This converts to roughly £38 per night which is very reasonable and we were very pleased with this.
We drove around the site to our cabin. We had ample space to park our car next to our accommodation and we found that we were located opposite the beach and with magnificent views of lake Vänern (although not much could be seen right now!)
The cabin was in typical Swedish style, a red wooden building and with a veranda area to the front with outdoor furniture.
We went inside the cabin and were very pleased with what we found. The cabin was clean and tidy with a separate kitchen area, bedroom with 2 bunk beds, large living area with pull out (very comfortable) sofa bed and a dining table and chairs. We had electricity, hob, fridge with small freezer section and ample storage space. The cabins were well stocked with duvets and linen and a good amount of pillows. The kitchen was well stocked with kitchen utensils and crockery, in fact everything that you needed to sleep, eat and be comfortable.
If anyone has stayed at a Swedish campsite previously, you will know that the Swedes pride themselves on the amenities available.
There were a number of blocks for toilets and showers and we were located close to the central block. Wow! I had never experienced these kinds of facilities in a camp site previously. The ladies side was fitted with many toilets and shower cubicles, hair dryers, music to listen to whilst you are getting ready and good lighting for make up application. The shower cubicles were large with a separate area to sit & keep your clothes dry and they also had a sink and toilet within them too which was very convenient.
There was another building which housed the washing machines and dryers (tokens were available from reception, reasonably priced) & a separate area which would be particularly convenient for those without dining facilities and I provides, tables & chairs, hobs, ovens, microwaves and washing up facilities.
There is a shop on site which is linked to reception. This sells a range of products from food & drink to fresh bread & pastries, also newspapers & ice creams for hr children. We thought that this was slightly over priced but convenient at the same time.
The campsite did have a bar & restaurant/takeaway area which offered such foods as pizza, burgers and hot dogs. Due to us having our own kitchen facilities, we chose to prepare our meals ourselves, therefore didn't actually try out these facilities so I cannot comment too much on them.
*The campsite & what to do there*
The site had a range of entertainment facilities, particularly for our children. We ended us staying here for four nights whilst the garage struggled to find what was wrong with our car & after four days of 'computer says no' & the sophisticated engine computer could not find anything wrong with our car, it took my husbands firm Swedish request for a proper mechanic to forget the computer and get his head under the bonnet to solve our problem. It turned out to be a small coil that cost us £50 which had baffled these so called mechanics for days but that's another story! To get back on course due to their incompetence, we enjoyed some lovely relaxing days at Ekkuden. The weather improved after our first night and we were soon out and about playing mini golf, taking advantage of the open spaces and playing ball games, using thee children's playgrounds and of course, swimming in the lake and enjoying the beach.
For those who find Vänern too cold, there is a swimming pool next door which is part of the camp site and has a children's section and water slides. We didn't use this facility as we were happy to use he free features of the lake and the water slides that were on the beach here rather than having to pay an extra fee.
The barbeque areas of the camp site were lovely and we enjoyed being sat in a barbeque area watching the sun go down over the lake whilst grilling hotdogs and enjoying a nice red wine.
The other appeal that we liked about the site is that it is located next to a nature reserve which is accessible to the public and there are beautiful wild areas, great walks and beautiful scenery to be seen.
The campsite as mentioned is in Mariestad, a small town in South West Sweden. Mariestad sits towards the south of Sweden's largest lake. The nearest large city is Gothenburg which is Sweden's second city. There are many things to see within the surrounding areas including the Gota canals.
We really enjoyed our stay here and it was a very relaxing retreat. The amount of time was ideal and although we were happy to be moving on, we did really enjoy our stay here and would return again particularly due to is location and the very reasonable price of the accommodation.